October 21, 2016

NHS doctor recommended holy water for ‘possessed’ patient

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AN NHS doctor advised a patient to get help from a church-run TV channel based in Nigeria after claiming she might be possessed by demonic forces.

Locum psychiatrist Dr Julius Awakame had heard the woman had a personality disorder and a history of “satanic ritual abuse”.

During a consultation at a health centre in Harwich, Essex, he said her problems could not be solved by conventional treatment.

Instead he gave her the name of the 24-hour TV station run by a church in Lagos, a medical tribunal hearing in Manchester was told.

Dr Awakame, 50, told her “neither psychiatry not psychology” would be able to help her because “there are special forces at play”.

When psychiatric nurse Martin Rowe later asked Dr Awakame whether the woman, named only as Patient A, was possessed, he replied: “She may well be.”

He claimed she had been thrown out of her local church because of her condition.

An investigation into his behaviour was launched by North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust and Dr Awakame was sacked and reported to the General Medical Council.

Dr Awakame, who has since returned to his native Ghana, now faces being struck off after he was found guilty in his absence of misconduct.

At the consultation, which took place in January 2014, he told Patient A she had been “initiated through satanic ritual” and wrote down a website for her to access.

The patient said Dr Awakame told her to ask the church to send her some “nice holy water” to help with her problems but that claim was dismissed by tribunal chairman David Kyle.

Dr Awakame, who worked in various hospitals in the NHS from 1997 to 2014, is now a lecturer in health information in Ghana.

In an email to the tribunal, he said he had left clinical medicine and did not have the “time or resources” to be involved in the proceedings.

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